“We are hurt and we are here to hurt”, warns Shoaib Akhtar

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

COLOMBO - Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has sent out a clear message to the cricket world that the “hurt” Pakistan team would ‘heal its wounds’ following the numerous controversies that engulfed it last year by ‘giving its best’.

Pakistan lost three of their key players- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir- to the spot-fixing scandal during the England tour in August 2010.

Wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider’s sudden desertion of the team during the UAE series against South Africa made Pakistan a laughing stock while opener Yasir Hameed’s interview with a British tabloid, in which he discussed the spot-fixing allegations against his teammates, added insult to the injury.

However, a Test and One-day International series win against New Zealand and two consecutive wins in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2011 have renewed fans’ expectations from the 1992 champions.

“We are hurt and we are here to hurt,” The Express Tribune quoted Akhtar, as repeatedly telling reporters in response to the queries on controversies faced by the Pakistan team in the past few months.

“We’ve had a miserable past few months but I’m happy all that has ended before the World Cup,” he said.

“We will heal our wounds by giving the best and we’ve already started off well with two wins. We are missing Asif and Amir but we don’t have any other options than to look forward,” he added.

The Rawalpindi Express, who picked up two crucial wickets against Sri Lanka on Saturday as he bowled with venom and speed he was once renowned for, said that Pakistan still had a long way to go in the mega event.

“We were considered as underdogs at the start [of the World Cup], but now we are at par with the favourites and we’ll have to live up to that tag by performing consistently,” said Akhtar. (ANI)

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